Democrats in Congress are pushing back against the Trump administration’s decision to take LGBTI questions off the United States Census.
Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced the Census Equality Act to Congress on Tuesday (31 July).
The bill describes its goal as improving data collection ‘by requiring the collection of information on sexual orientation and gender identity in the decennial census and the American Community Survey’.
It further dictates that authorities must start enacting a plan to include these questions no later than a year after the bill passes. It also states the questions can be introduced earlier, but no later than 2030 for the decennial census and 2020 for the American Community Survey.
Last March, LGBTI advocates slammed Trump and his team for not including such questions.
The pressure led the US Census Bureau to keep a question on sexuality on a marketing survey for 2020.
This bill, however, makes it the law for the Bureau to included these questions on all such surveys.
Making LGBTI people seen
‘We must expand data collections efforts to ensure the LGBTQ community is not only seen, but fully accounted for in terms of government resources provided,’ Harris said.
‘This information can also provide us with better tools to enforce civil rights protections for a community that is too often discriminated against.’
Carper added: ‘Today, despite the fact that roughly 10 million Americans identify as LGBTQ, the community is left unrepresented on the census.’
Advocates have long campaigned and fought for the inclusion of such questions.
In 2016 on Capitol Hill, Laverne Cox joined policymakers demanding for such change.